Tuesday 21 May 2019

Jose Mourinho demands 'best' of Cup hero Paul Pogba


Jose Mourinho. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Jose Mourinho. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Jamie Holland

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has thrown down the gauntlet to Paul Pogba to carry his World Cup form into the Premier League, which gets under way in just over two weeks' time.

Pogba shone brightly throughout the tournament in Russia as France went all the way, which left many United fans wondering why he has been so underwhelming since his return to Old Trafford.

The 25-year-old midfielder - an £89m signing from Juventus two years ago - was a model of inconsistency last season and Mourinho wasn't afraid to leave him on the bench for several games.

But as questions are being asked why United aren't getting more out of him, Mourinho claims the closed-off nature of tournament football suited the Frenchman.

"I don't think it's about us getting the best out of him, it's about him giving the best he has to give," declared the Red Devils boss.

"I think the World Cup is the perfect habitat for a player like him to give (their) best.

"Why? Because it's closed for a month, where he can only think about football. Where he's with his team on the training camp, completely isolated from the external world, where they focus just on football, where the dimensions of the game can only motivate.

"During a season, you can have a big match then a smaller match, then one even smaller, then you can lose your focus, you can lose your concentration, then comes a big match again."

Reports in the Spanish media have linked Pogba with a return to Juventus, claiming he's keen to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin, but United insist the midfielder is going nowhere.

Mourinho, meanwhile, is believed to be interested in signing Croatia's World Cup star Ante Rebic from Eintracht Frankfurt.

The United supremo had Rebic's team-mate Ivan Perisic as his initial target as he is anxious to bring in a wide player.

However, initial talks with Inter Milan failed to make progress as the Croatian's brilliant performances in Russia have seen his price rocket to £80m. With Perisic turning 30 this season, United feel this evaulation is way too high.

Irish Independent

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